MARQUETTE — Leaders and state commission members met this morning to discuss the future of energy here in the U.P.

Members of the Michigan Public Service Commission, MISO, and other energy representatives gathered today at NMU to discuss local, state and regional developments. The main point of discussion was what to do when the Presque Isle Power Plant becomes defunct in 2020. Their solution is to build a new power plant by then.

Chairman for the Michigan Public Service Commission John Quackenbush says, “Well we hope to have the solution by 2020, because that’s that projected retirement date for the Presque Isle plant, and so, you know, construction does take a while, there’s permitting, and construction process, and so forth, and we have to leave ample time for all of those things.”

So, will this cost the taxpayers? The answer to that question is still undecided.

“It’s difficult to tell, we don’t know all the details, but we do know that with some of the federal requirements, they have been tending to push more cost towards the Upper Peninsula,” Quackenbush added, “and so those are the very things that we’re fighting, so we get a fair outcome.”

Plans for the new power plant are still in it’s early stages. Representatives from the different agencies agree that energy efficiency for their customers is a primary objective.

Until then according to a recent MISO survey, the U.P. has enough resources to meet load obligations for the next five years.

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